Thursday, September 15, 2011

3rd Period

This week has been one of those weeks that seems to fly by, but at the same time, the individual days have seemed so long.  Weird how that works....I started out the week sick.  By sick, I mean congested, can't breathe, can't talk, throat is closing up sick.  Yuck.  Despite that, I went to school everyday, because I would rather try to conduct class as a mime than have to come up with substitute lesson plans.  

And I was greatly rewarded by my decision to teach through it, in more ways than one.  Number one, I'm notorious for being the biggest wimp about being sick.  Going to work anyway helped me prove to myself that I can fight through the sickness, no matter how crummy I feel.  Number two, and the vastly greater reward, was the way my students participated in their work this week.  All of my classes are great.  I look forward to teaching each one for a very distinct and different reason.  However, every teacher knows that there is that one class period that somehow makes you smile everyday.  When I student taught, that class was 6th period.  Sure, they acted out occasionally and may or may not have made a few inappropriate comments from time to time, but they loved school, and they loved English, and I loved them for that.  

This blog entry is going to have to be dedicated to my current 3rd period.  They made my week awesome.  As a first year teacher, I am required to be observed by my mentor teacher throughout the year, and ultimately, by a Praxis III assessor, who will decide if I am competent enough to be a teacher.  My school also requires observations, which are done by our principals.  This week, I had two assessments, one by my mentor teacher and one by my principal.  Let's just say I was a little stressed.  I asked both of them to come visit my 3rd period, because I already had reason to believe that they would do everything they could to make me look good.  All I can say is WOW! They delivered.  

On Tuesday, we held a Socratic seminar on our study of the September 11th attacks and the 10-year anniversary.  This is a type of student-led discussion in which students write their own questions and use them to facilitate classroom discussion.  They did an amazing job!  They held a 30 minute discussion about topics ranging from how children today might feel growing up without a parent who died in the attacks to whether or not the government should tell people how to commemorate the attacks.  They really analyzed what they had learned and read and watched in class and used it all.  

On Thursday (today), we had a far less exciting lesson.  We defined literary terms.  Woohoo!!  But they did a great job!  They had examples for all of the things we talked about, they recalled things I taught up to three weeks ago, and they even high-fived each other for getting the right answer.  Way to make me look like a rock star, 3rd period.

I know there is really no lesson or great story in this entry.  I thought about my week, and several things came to mind, but I felt like I really needed to brag on these kids.  They are the reason I love going to work everyday.  I am thankful for all my students and for the opportunity to wake up every morning and be a teacher, but today I have to say a special thank you.  So thank you 3rd period.  You are one fantastic group of seventh graders.

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